100 Norfolk condo design sparks mixed reactions

February 19, 2013 11:00AM

Nearly one year ago, Brooklyn-based Urban-Scape nabbed a property on the Lower East Side’s 100 Norfolk Street, between Rivington and Delancey streets, for $8.8 million in cash, announcing that a 12-story condoplex building would soon rise from the site. Now renderings by architecture firm ODA are out and they reveal a modern, glass-coated wedding-cake building that has already begun to generate controversy in the neighborhood.

The 44,000-square-foot building will feature 38 units, public and private terraces, a 5,000-square-foot rooftop and a 2,000 square-foot roof deck on one of the neighboring buildings.

The architect describes the project as “combining its mass from the surrounding properties to create a stepping volume which cantilevers over the adjacent low rise buildings like an inverted ‘wedding cake’ or ziggurat. The unexpected massing, cladded in a glass curtain wall, reflects a paradoxical mid-block freestanding building offering striking views and strong interior light exposure for an array of residential spaces – a pendant above the city.”

However, Lower East Side advocates have already begun expressing their hatred for the design. The neighborhood blog Bowery Boogie characterized the developer’s plans thusly: “Whether you like it or not, we will ruin the Lower East Side skyline with this cantilevered, ‘wedding cake’ design.” [Bowery Boogie] —Christopher Cameron